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Key eyes Mighty River Power, Genesis in selloff plan

The government has indicated Mighty River Power or Genesis Energy are likely to be the first SOEs to be floated next year.

The government has indicated Mighty River Power or Genesis Energy are likely to be the first SOEs to be floated next year.

Prime Minister John Key told National Radio's Morning Report it would be late 2012 by the time the necessary law changes are made for a sell-off of shares to go ahead.

National has said New Zealanders will be at the "front of the queue" for shares in SOEs and will retain ownership of at least 85-90 percent of those companies.

The party intends to sell up to 49 percent of Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power, Genesis Energy and Solid Energy, as well as part of its shareholding in Air New Zealand.

The partial sales would raise $5-7 billion and the government will retain at least 51 percent control of the five companies.

According to Fairfax media, Mighty River Power chairwoman Joan Withers said the state-owned enterprise was well-placed to handle a partial sale of its shares with a sound board, strategy and high-profile chief executive.

She said there was also compatibility between Mighty River Power and iwi, who have signalled interest in purchasing shares in SOEs.